All drivers know that brakes play an essential role when it comes to the safety and functionality of the vehicle. But, what most don’t know is that their driving habits significantly affect the brakes’ lifespan.
Both the geographical location and driving style affect brake longevity. For instance, if you’re from a place that’s notorious for heavy traffic, you’re likely to use your brakes many times than a person who resides in an area without much traffic. This is an example of those factors you can’t control.
Here are practical things you can do to help lengthen your car’s brake life:
1. Don’t Overspeed
Speeding is your brakes’ greatest enemy. Driving at a higher speed means that the braking system will require more effort to bring the car to a halt. Stopping a car that’s moving at 65 mph takes approximately 35 percent more energy than stopping one at 55 mph. Thus, it’s vital that you stay within the speed limit.
Coasting refers to taking your foot from the accelerator so the car can slow down naturally followed by the application of brakes. While coasting may not for all cases on the road, it works well when you’re about to turn or when there’s a traffic light sign ahead.
3. Use One Foot to Brake
When using brakes, only use one foot. Some drivers brake while placing the other foot on the gas pedal, a technique referred to as brake riding.
Well, doing this means the brakes are engaged for longer, which wears them out faster. So, ensure you don’t brake and accelerate simultaneously. It doesn’t only wear the brakes, but the tires as well.
4. Remove Extra Weight
Extra weight on a vehicle can considerably impact the lifespan of its brakes. Only carry the necessary items and leave anything else behind.
Besides, note that aftermarket products usually weigh more than the original parts, which is why you shouldn’t be quick to install the former. If possible, consider purchasing a lighter car that’s easier on tires, brakes, gas, and of course, your wallet.
5. Don’t be a Follower on the Road
When you’re a follower on the road, you don’t only risk a crash, but you also overwork your brakes. Braking every time the driver in front of you brakes will cause the brakes to wear quicker. Instead of following a fellow driver, practice coasting, but ensure you keep a safe distance between your car and the one ahead of you.
6. Regularly Flush Brake Fluid
Naturally, brake fluid attracts water, and this can lower the boiling point of the braking system’s fluid. But diluted brake fluid can curtail the functioning of brakes. The extra moisture from external water can also result in internal corrosion, which may erode away the braking system’s parts. A good way to prevent this is to replace and flush the brake fluid on a regular basis.
Your driving habits directly impact the lifespan of your car brakes. Most importantly, get quality parts for your car and you won’t keep on replacing them every time.